Yahweh controls birds and animals (Ps 104:17-104:18)

“In the trees,

The birds build their nests.

The stork has its home in the fir trees.

The high mountains are for the wild goats.

The rocks are a refuge for the badgers.”

The birds build their nests or homes in the various trees. Then there is the mention of 3 specific animals or birds, the stork in the fir tree, the wild goat in the mountains, and the badgers in the rocks. Yahweh created all this.

The sins in the desert (Ps 78:17-78:22)

“Yet they sinned still more against him.

They rebelled against the Most High.

In the desert,

They tested God in their heart.

They demanded the food they craved.

They spoke against God.

They said.

‘Can God spread a table in the wilderness?

Even though he had struck the rock

So that water gushed out,

The streams overflowed.

Can he also give bread?

Can he provide meat for his people?

Therefore, when Yahweh heard this,

He was full of rage.

A fire was kindled against Jacob.

His anger mounted against Israel.

They had no faith in God.

They did not trust his saving power.”

This complaint is based on Exodus, chapter 16. The Israelites rebelled against God in the desert. They wanted to test God. They demanded their food. They complained that things were better in Egypt. How was God going to provide food for them in the desert wilderness? They already had water from rocks, but that was not good enough. They also wanted bread and meat. This got Yahweh angry and mad at Jacob that is Israel. They had no faith in God and were not trusting in his saving power.

Job remembers the good old days (Job 29:1-29:6)

“Job again took up his discourse.

He said.

‘O that I were as in the months of old.

As in the days when God watched over me,

When his lamp shone over my head,

By his light I walked through darkness.

As I was in my prime,

When the friendship of God was upon my tent,

When the Almighty Shaddai was still with me,

When my children were around me,

When my steps were washed with milk,

The rock poured out for me streams of oil!’”

Now it is back to the old complaining Job. Once again this is a solemn discourse, not a mere complaint with his friends. This time he was reminiscing about the “good old days.” God was watching over him as his head had something like a lamp around it. Job was able to walk through darkness because God liked him in his tent. He was in the prime years of his life. The friendship of the almighty Shaddai was still with him. His children were all around him. His steps were washed with milk, while oil gushed out of rocks. In other words, these were metaphors for the fact that he was prosperous and happy.

The adventurers cannot find wisdom (Job 28:9-28:11)

“They put their hand to the flinty rock.

They overturn mountains by the roots.

They cut out channels in the rocks.

Their eyes see every precious thing.

They probe the sources of the rivers.

Hidden things they bring to light.”

Even the great adventurers and the various inventions of those days do not find wisdom. The invention of fire with flint was a big deal. Overturning mountains was a massive task. Cutting channels in rocks was not easy. They used their eyesight to find precious metals. They even tried to figure out the sources of the rivers. They were looking for hidden items by bringing light to them. These were the adventurers and discoverers of 2,500 years ago. They wanted to know about things and how they worked. Yet they never found wisdom.

Job thought that God was too busy for the poor (Job 24:1-24:9)

“Why are times not kept by the Almighty Shaddai?

Why do those who know him never see his days?

The wicked remove landmarks.

They seize flocks and pasture them.

They drive away the donkey of the orphan.

They take the widow’s ox for a pledge.

They thrust the needy off the road.

The poor of the earth all hide themselves.

Like wild asses in the desert

They go out to their toil.

They scavenge in the wasteland food for their young.

They reap in a field not their own.

They glean in the vineyard of the wicked.

They lie all night naked,

Without clothing.

They have no covering in the cold.

They are wet with the rain of the mountains.

They cling to the rock for want of shelter.”

Job seemed to imply that God was too busy to care about the poor. Job contrasted the ways of the rich and the poor. The day of the Lord never seemed to come. Instead the wicked remove landmarks or steal land, steal flocks, drive away with donkeys and oxen. They were stealing property from others. The poor are sent into hiding. They have to scavenge for their children’s food, work in other people’s fields, and glean or pick up the left over harvest items in the vineyard. They have no clothing to protect them from the cold and the wet. Their housing was rocks and caves.

Bildad responded to Job (Job 18:1-18:4)

“Then Bildad the Shuhite answered.

‘How long will you hunt for words?

Consider!

Then we shall speak.

Why are we counted as cattle?

Why are we stupid in your sight?

You who tear yourself in your anger,

Shall the earth be forsaken because of you?

Shall the rock be removed out of its place?’”

Bildad responded with his second speech that Job is acting like he was the center of the world. Why was Job trying to hunt for words? Bildad and his friends wanted to speak. Why were they called cattle or stupid? Job was angry at himself. Then he was mad at everyone else. He was making too much of himself. Was the world going to stop? Would rocks jump up to move on? No, Job was being too ego-centric.

Job knows that death awaits him (Job 14:18-14:22)

“But the mountain falls.

The mountain crumbles away.

The rock is removed from its place.

The waters wear away the stones.

The torrents wash away the soil of the earth.

Thus you destroy the hope of mortals.

You prevail forever against them.

They pass away.

You change their countenance.

You send them away.

Their children come to honor them.

They do not know it.

They are brought low.

It goes unnoticed.

They feel only the pain of their own bodies.

They mourn only for themselves.”

Job thought that the mountains would fall. That rocks and stones would wear away. Water would uproot the soil. Thus the same is true for mortals. Their hopes are dashed. God prevails against them as they pass away. In the end, although the children honor them, they only mourn for themselves. They know that this death awaits them. The future is bleak.